Bestselling chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner goes a bit darker with her newest book All Fall Down, a compelling story about the price some people pay in the pursuit of having it all. Weiner tackles the growing epidemic in our society of middle and upper-class suburban parents who abuse prescription medication to cope with their overworked and overstressed lifestyles, yet writes this story beautifully and in a way that doesn't make you hate the addict or necessarily feel sorry for her either.
End of Always is historical fiction set in 1907 Waukesha and concerns domestic abuse and family violence. It is based on the author’s family history. The tone can be quite grim, but the story is not without hope. This is a good choice for people who like to read historical fiction with Wisconsin settings, but be prepared for some scenes of violence which may be upsetting.
If you like reading romantic suspense with a western setting try the Beartooth Mountain series by B. J. Daniels. Having just finished Forsaken, third in the series, I have to say I am hooked on this genre. Not your typical western story, it has elements of murder, mystery, horses and handsome cowboys - what more could you ask for? Written with intertwining story lines and the beautiful details of the Montana landscape, you can almost smell the pine trees, the frost on the air, the smell of the horses, and the smoke from the campfires.
If you like mysteries set in Wisconsin, tryDeath Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka, the first in the Dave Cubiak series. Cubiak was a Chicago cop who became a park ranger at Peninsula State Park after his wife and daughter were killed in an accident. He is still grieving, feeling guilty, and drinking too much. This is a not a cozy mystery even though the author does a good job of describing the beauty and ambience of Door County.
What a fun book! Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson is a humorous contemporary retelling of the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice set (of all places) in the world of dog shows. Fans of Austen won't be disappointed; Wilson has very cleverly weaved in references to the original tale and does an excellent job bringing back to life Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth while adding a fun modern twist.
The title Confabulist means that a person makes up stories because the person does not know or cannot remember the truth, and narrator Martin Strauss is a confabulist. In the beginning Martin tells the reader that he has a condition where his brain cannot store and process memories and that he killed Harry Houdini. Part of the story is about Martin’s life as he believes it happened and part is factual information about Houdini.
It has been said that author Linda Lael Miller considers the cowboy to be the great North American myth, the ideal of honor, courage and persistence we need to live up to. After reading Big Sky Wedding, the fifth installment in her Parable, Montana series, I think I agree. The story is the perfect mix of hot cowboy and strong woman intent on ignoring their instant attraction to each other. The author's love for children, animals and nature shine through in this small town, family-oriented, western romance.
There are many ways of choosing a book to read. It could be because of the subject matter, the cover, the series, the author, or because everyone is talking about it. I chose Casebook by Mona Simpson because I was intrigued by the author and the excellent reviews. Simpson was born in Green Bay (a Wisconsin connection!). Before her parents married, they had a son whom they gave up for adoption. Simpson did not know about her brother until she was an adult. Her brother was Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.
Debbie Macomber has written another feel good novel with several happy endings that reminds me of a modern-day fairy tale. In Blossom Street Brides, several lives intertwine and connect as they face the trials and triumphs in their varying stages of life. All are connected in some way to that little yarn store on Blossom Street called A Good Yarn, first featured in the second of her Blossom Street novels. The characters eventually get to their happy endings, but it sure takes some time to get there.
Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker is a story about two families from the small town of Titan Falls on the Androscoggin River in northern New Hampshire. This is a gripping character-driven story with touches of magic realism and descriptions of the natural environment of the area. From the author’s descriptions, I felt as if I could not only see the river but smell it as well.